The project focus was on assessing the distribution, threats, and implementing in-situ conservation, protection measures, capacity building, and increase public awareness for a near endemic plant species, the Iris atrofusca. This Royal Iris species is classified as near threatened by the IUCN, and its distribution and status in Palestine is not known. In addition, the project will support and engage local communities, stakeholders, and decision makers to practice and apply sustainable uses of land and resources allowing direct conservation and integration into community livelihood activities.
Key Biodiversity Area(s): North Eastern Slopes Region, Palestine.
Study area. The green polygon represents the boundaries of the study site (North Eastern Slopes Region KBA), while the blue, red and yellow polygons represent the nature reserves within the study area (Tamoun, Siris, and Jabal Al Kabier nature reserves, respectively).
The project will adapt several approaches, from floristic, implement in-situ conservation capacity building, engage local communities and authorities in conservation activities, increase public awareness, and advocate and facilitate public participation in collecting data (promoting science citizen). The project will focus on the following specific activities:
- Conducting field survey to identify the distribution, status and populations size of Iris atrofusca within the proposed KBA and other sites within the West Bank, where the distribution of this species is not known at the national or international level (e.g. IUCN)
- Training the team of Nature Palestine society and local authorities and site rangers
on basic plant identification, focusing on Iris atrofusca and other flagship plant species.
- In-situ conservation of specific site(s) known to hold high population of Iris atrofusca within Jabal Tamoun Nature Reserve.
- Conducting workshops for local communities, land owners and farmers, to promote social and legal adoption of conservation for target plant species at local community and authority level to ensure their engagement in the project activities and to spread our mission and goals.
- Conduct field visits and public awareness activities for students (environmental clubs of two high schools of both genders from Tamoun village, and environmental clubs of undergraduate students from Al-Najah university and Arab American University.